FCC issues Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Resilient Networks and the Commission’s Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications

On January 26, 2024 the FCC issued a Second Report and Order (2nd R&O) and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2nd NPRM), PS Docket Nos. 21-346 and 15-80, and ET Docket No. 04-35 regarding the reliability and availability of the nation’s communications networks (FCC 24-5).

The FCC document states, “To improve network reliability and resiliency and operational transparency both during and in the aftermath of disasters and outages, in this Second Report and Order we require enumerated service providers…to report on their infrastructure status during emergencies and crises in the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) when activated and to submit final report to the Commission within 24 hours of DIRS deactivation.”

The Order adopts rules to:

  • Require cable communications, wireline, wireless, and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers to report their infrastructure status information in DIRS daily when DIRS is activated in the geographic areas where they provide service.
  • Require service providers provide a final DIRS report within 24 hours of deactivation of DIRS that provides status of their infrastructure identified during the DIRS reporting period that has not yet been fully restored.

The Second NPRM seeks comment to support further FCC action on select Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) and DIRS matters including:

  • Whether to require TV and radio broadcasters to report in NORS and DIRS.
  • Whether to require satellite providers to report in DIRS
  • The extent to which FirstNet should be subject to NORS and/or DIRS reporting.
  • The extent to which broadband internet service providers should be required to report in NORS and/or DIRS.
  • Whether subject service providers should be required to provide the location of mobile recovery assets during disaster response, as well as other specifications of those assets.

The full Second R&O and Second NPRM can be found here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-24-5A1.pdf or by searching for FCC 24-5.